Car accidents are universally recognized as burdensome and distressing events. The impact is further intensified when the individuals involved sustain severe injuries or lose their lives. The aftermath of such accidents is marked by pain, confusion, and significant financial strain, irrespective of the location. This reality underscores the need for a comprehensive understanding of the implications associated with car accidents worldwide.
When faced with a car accident, individuals often find themselves pondering over the responsible party who will cover their medical expenses and property damages. The multitude of tasks to accomplish, evidence to collect, and paperwork to complete can be overwhelming, leaving many unsure of the proper course of action. During these moments of vulnerability, the expertise of an experienced car accident lawyer can prove invaluable.
This article aims to shed light on the implications of living in a No-Fault state like New York and how this legal framework can impact your ability to receive compensation for any losses you may have incurred.
Required Car Insurance For New York Drivers
Any person who wants to drive a motor vehicle in New York will need to have car insurance coverage. They can have as many as the driver finds prudent to have, but they should cover the following:
- No-fault, Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Liability Insurance
- Uninsured Motorist
The first insurance coverage, PIP, is used to pay medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earnings. There are also occasions where household help and transportation to medical providers for the injured person are required, which is considered a reasonable expense that PIP also covers.
This coverage is for the driver’s expenses. Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, they should receive coverage for reasonable medical and rehabilitation expenses.
They can also receive up to 80% of their lost earnings from work, but it is not going to exceed $2,000 per month and has a limit of 3 years from the date of the accident. Additionally, they can receive up to $25 a day for the household and transportation for the policyholder. If this person dies in the accident, their beneficiary may receive $2000 more plus the $50,000 of the basic no-fault limit.
All drivers who purchase personal injury protection know when they are not entitled to receive compensation from their insurance coverage; the exclusions are:
- If the driver was driving under the influence
- If the driver was intentionally causing their injuries
- If the driver was operating an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or motorcycle
- If the driver gets injured while committing a felony
- If the driver gets injured while driving a stolen car.
The second insurance coverage is the liability (bodily injury and property damage). Insurance is triggered when a third party files an insurance claim alleging you were negligent or found at fault for the accident. It also covers if another person was driving your car with your permission.
The minimum limit for third-party liability a driver should have is 25/50/10 coverage.
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident (when 2 or more people are involved)
- $10,000 for property damage per accident.
If a death is involved in the accident, the bodily injury limits may double the previous amounts.
The third required insurance coverage is the uninsured motorist coverage, which is to protect the driver when they are involved in a traffic accident against a driver who does not carry any insurance or if the other driver flees the accident scene and it is not possible to locate it.
This coverage does not include property damage but is useful for extra bodily injuries sustained by you or any family member residing in your home.
3 Options To Get Your Car Repaired After A Car Accident In New York
Talking directly about the options you may have when encountering a situation of traffic accident, depending on the severity of the consequences, you have three options.
If, besides the mandatory insurance types, you went further precautious and bought collision coverage or comprehensive coverage, that will be your first go-to when you crash your car.
Collision and comprehensive coverages differ depending on how your car results in damage. The collision coverage is for when your car gets damaged by another car or object, while the comprehension coverage helps you when your car gets damaged, not by a traffic collision.
In order to get the monetary compensation to fix your car after an accident, if you have this type of insurance, you can file a claim with your insurance company.
The second option is using the liability coverage of the other driver. In order for you to use this option, proof of negligence must exist, and you need to prove that you have sustained serious injuries that went beyond your PIP limits, in which case you are entitled to claim for the rest of the expenses.
When you submit this claim, the insurance company may start an investigation. Sometimes, they delay this investigation or apply bad faith moves. A car accident lawyer can help in this situation by constantly asking for updates and gathering all the evidence they need in the investigation to determine the amount of compensation it is fair for you to receive.
As the last resource, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party; this would be the last resource because it is a delayed process and will require the expertise of a car accident attorney. While you may be dealing with serious injuries full of pain and financial burden, a respected accident attorney from The Ward Law Group will be building a solid case on your behalf.
Not only is property damage pursued in a lawsuit, but the victim can also fight for non-economic damages if the accident caused serious injuries to them.
Non-economic damages account for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of a body organ
- Loss of a fetus
An Extra Option For Car Damage
You may be worried about the property damage your car sustained due to the money owed. If you have financed your car, you can also purchase a guaranteed asset protection known as GAP.
When buying a car through a loan or lease, there is a gap or difference between the vehicle's value and the remaining balance on the loan. This gap is created due to the car's depreciation, as its value decreases rapidly after the purchase.
Guaranteed Asset Protection is designed to cover that gap or difference if the car is stolen or experiences an accident resulting in a total loss. Instead of being left with the remaining debt after the auto insurance has paid the vehicle's market value, GAP insurance will cover the remaining amount owed to the lender or lessor.
This additional coverage can be especially beneficial in situations where the car loan or lease is long-term or if the vehicle has a high depreciation rate. It provides other financial protection to the insured, preventing them from being burdened with a significant debt for a vehicle they no longer possess.
Understanding and being aware of all available policies for drivers is of utmost importance, as it can make the difference between facing financial burdens or enjoying peace of mind. This knowledge empowers individuals to make informed decisions and choose comprehensive coverage options that protect them from potential liabilities and unforeseen expenses.
Proving Liability In New York
When it comes to navigating the complexities of a car accident case, the expertise of an experienced car accident lawyer becomes invaluable. They possess in-depth knowledge of the essential evidence to construct a compelling case.
It is crucial to reach out to a legal professional promptly following an accident—once you have received the necessary medical attention. By involving a car accident lawyer from the outset, you gain the advantage of their guidance and support.
A skilled car accident lawyer will provide legal counsel and actively assist you in gathering vital evidence. They may even personally visit the accident scene to capture photographs, securing visual documentation that can greatly bolster your case.
Additionally, they will diligently collect contact information from potential witnesses who could provide valuable testimony. Furthermore, a proficient lawyer will assess the extent of damages incurred, ensuring that all relevant aspects are considered during the evaluation.
Moreover, the assistance of a car accident lawyer extends to helping you with the often-dreaded task of filing a police report. They will offer guidance on navigating the required documentation, ensuring that your report accurately reflects the incident and supports your legal position.
Contact A Car Accident Attorney
The Ward Law Group P.L. has over a decade of experience representing victims of car accidents in New York. We have a group of the finest and most respected lawyers who will fight for you to get fair compensation. We advocate for non-English-speaking communities because we understand that they are prone to be abused by others when they do not know their rights.
Contact us online or by calling 855-DOLOR-55, and one of our lawyers will answer any question you may have, either if it is for an emergency moment or an accident that has passed or if you want to be prepared for any unfortunate situation in the future, we are available for you 24/7.